Review of The Broken Family Band's album Please and Thank You.
This is the 5th album from The Broken Family Band and has been recorded by Steve Adams whilst holding down his day job, like the rest of their albums. The band consists of a group of fellows from Cambridge, Steven Adams, Jay Williams, Gavin Johnson and Mick Roman. The Broken Family Band has been a popular choice for those who enjoy simple straight forward garage sounding Indie Rock Pop. From the first listen of their new album I couldn't help but feel like I had heard it all before, oh yes I know why it sounds like all their other stuff, which felt a little bit of a shame. The track 'Borrowed Time' sums it up nicely, 'can't live on borrowed time anymore but we still have to try' this is something that ironically hasn't seemed to be heeded by them literally. There is no trying in this album, it's formulaic and lazy. Nothing that they haven't done before and I don't feel like this album has any songs that stand up to the body of work they have given us already. 'Don't Bury Us', is a good example of my point. It's a repetitive 3 chord acoustic pop ditty with a power chord strum for the choral crescendo. The tricks and twists used in this song are boring and laboured and achieved by countless indie bands out there playing in the pubs and clubs up and down the country.
The recent surge in bands with the sounds of the Broken Family Band has only made the mediocrity on this album more obvious, their fans will like the familiarity but when push comes to shove this album doesn't stand up to the likes of their previous albums like 'Hello Love' with its beautiful melancholic sentiment from songs like 'Don't Change Your Mind'. It's such a shame that the Broken Family Band has been doing this kind of music for years and then artists that aren't as good manage to do a similar thing and become more successful.
There are moments on this album that sound more American rock than British Indie pop, 'Son of the Man' sounds like its come straight out of a garage in the burbs, which is something The Broken Family Band has mastered on previous albums but I don't know what's worse in Son of the Man the horrible vocal delivery or the mock rock guitar sounds. It's certainly a grunge influenced track just a tad lack lustre.
As the end of the album draws closer, 'The Girls In This Town' comes on and frankly only for the sake of fullness in my review did I persevere to the end of it. Please and Thank You has unfortunately turned out to be too samey, both within itself and to their other work. There are a few nice moments on this album but I fear not enough. It's a shame really. I'd like to see them go away and come back feeling fresh again, with ideas that feel forward thinking rather than stagnant. I will keep an ear out for that day. Until then Please and Thank you won't be staying in my itunes with the rest of their stuff. Need space for variety.
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